Advocacy Alert: May 2020 Legislative News Round Up

June 1, 2020

For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post news stories on a daily basis that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry.

Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, so once a month we send out a 'news roundup' of related news stories we've posted. Unless otherwise stated, BHAP has no official stance on any of these stories: the intention is to share so that we're all better informed as to what's happening in the legislative world.

A reminder that BHAP members get access to a monthly call with our advocate in Washington, DC, to find out what is going on and ask any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us for more information on that.

COVID-19 has Streamlined Addiction Medicine. Will the Changes Stick?
Shared 5/13/2020
Since March, federal officials have arguably done more to reform addiction medicine in the U.S. than they had in the two decades prior — expanding access to some treatments far more quickly and thoroughly than any of the legislative reforms Congress passe

Sen. Tina Smith Part of Effort to Get More Funding for Mental Health
Shared 5/14/2020
A group of senators, including Sen. Tina Smith, released a report looking at the mental health impact of the pandemic and how more funding could help.

MT | Candidates Showcase Behavioral Health Care Stances During Online Forum
Shared 5/15/2020
Montana's June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LA | New Orleans to Spend $300K to Address Opioid Epidemic as Overdoses Spike Amid Coronavirus
Shared 5/17/2020
The City Council has agreed to spend the cash on medication that can reverse opioid overdoses and on vaccines for hepatitis A, a virus common in people who inject drugs.

WI | Resilient Wisconsin Aims to Improve Mental and Behavioral Health
Shared 5/18/2020
Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed the month of May 'Resilient Wisconsin' month. Its goal: improving mental health.

Stabenow: Mental Health Care 'Has Never Been More Urgent' During Pandemic
Shared 5/19/2020
In the House Democrats latest coronavirus relief bill, the HEROES Act (a different bill than the one introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga of the same name), $3 billion is included for community behavioral health centers.

U.S. Senators Request Funding to Tackle Worsening Opioid Crisis
Shared 5/22/2020
A group of U.S. senators are requesting more funding for data collection and better monitoring of the opioid crisis as it continues during the pandemic.

MA | Drug Consumption Pilot Netted 13 Votes on Committee
Shared 5/24/2020
More than two-thirds of lawmakers on a legislative committee endorsed a bill that would launch medically supervised drug-use facilities in Massachusetts, underlining what one sponsor described as a long-running effort to overcome discomfort with the contr

NY | Katko Proposes Bill to Support Local Mental Health, Addiction Facilities
Shared 5/30/2020
U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY) on May 22 introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish a $100 million emergency grant program that would support local mental health and addiction facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CA | New California Bill Seeks to Offer Paid Sick Leave for Behavioral Health Conditions
Shared 5/31/2020
A new bill has been introduced in the California Assembly that could affect most employers and employees in the state. If passed in its current form, Assembly Bill (AB) 1844 would expand paid sick leave coverage to employees and their family members for behavioral health conditions.

COVID-19 Resources and News

As you know, COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our lives right now. The behavioral health industry is especially hit, with social distancing regulations and event closings hurting on-site services, affecting the economy, and increasing everyone’s stress levels.

We here at the Behavioral Health Association of Providers want to be here for you and your organization during this emergency. We are based in California, which is currently under a statewide ‘shelter in place’ order. However, we are able to work remotely and so will be able to help with your questions and concerns about supporting your clients. We also want to keep you updated as to resources specific to this pandemic.

We're keeping an updated list of COVID-19 Resources for Behavioral Health.

This includes webinars we've presented, available to watch for free.

Questions? Concerns?

As always, we want your input.

A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.


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